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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Close Encounters

Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus
Becca and I were about a third of the way along the Crosscut Trail when--"Hello!"--we had a very close encounter with an adolescent rattler.  Fortunately I had Becca hiking behind me because she wouldn't have seen it; I almost didn't see it due to its amazing camouflage.  It was sleeping, and never really stirred.  It may have opened an eye to see what was up, but we skirted it without incident.  Young rattlers are the most dangerous because they haven't yet learned to regulate the amount of venom they inject with a bite.
Claret Cup

In the foothills again

Ocotillo budding out

When fully bloomed they're among the most beautiful desert flowers

Mustard flowers blooming all over the desert floor

Velvety Nerisyrenia (mustard family)

Pause for the cause

The center segments of this Hedgehog are a foot-and-a-half tall

Tortugas (left) and the Organ Mountains

Mormon Tea (Ephedra)

Claret Cup and Yucca buddy

The camouflage is what concerns you

An adolescent Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Across the desert to the Organ Mountains

The dessicated remnants of a millipede

Torrey Yuccas

Haven't been able to ID this yet

Closeup of its flowers

Every spring a mama White-winged Dove builds a nest in our backyard

Now I have to worry until the babies leave the nest

3 comments:

Dr. K said...

Lots of interesting things to see on your blog today, Packrat. I'm sure you'll start worrying about that mama dove until the chicks are out of the nest.

Scott said...

Though I don't live out West, Kali and I have done quite a bit of hiking in the West's wildlands. We have never seen a rattlesnake during our walks west of the Mississippi, but we have seen them curled up in rocky crevasses along the Appalachian Trail here in Pennsylvania.

That plant with the beautiful dusky rose-colored flowers looks too succulent to occur in the desert; I'll bet it doesn't last long.

packrat said...

That's a pretty interesting rattler story, Scott. I never once saw a rattlesnake back East. Still haven't been able to ID that plant to which you refer.

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